Murray v Newsgroup Newspapers and Others

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMs. Justice Irvine
Judgment Date18 June 2010
Neutral Citation[2010] IEHC 248
Date18 June 2010
Docket Number[No. 4661 P/2010]

[2010] IEHC 248

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 4661 P/2010]
Murray v Newsgroup Newspapers & Ors
Approved signed original

BETWEEN

MICHAEL MURRAY
PLAINTIFF

AND

NEWSGROUP NEWSPAPERS LIMITED, INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS (IRELAND) LIMITED, INDEPENDENT STAR LIMITED, COMMISSIONER OF AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA, MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND LAW REFORM, IRELAND, AND ATTORNEY GENERAL
DEFENDANTS

CONSTITUTION

SEX OFFENDERS ACT 2001

GARDA SIOCHANA ACT 2005 S62

PROHIBITION OF INCITEMENT TO HATRED ACT 1989 S2

NON-FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1997 S10

KENNEDY & ARNOLD v IRELAND & AG 1987 IR 587 1988 ILRM 472 1988/2/367

MCGEE v AG & REVENUE CMRS 1974 IR 284

NORRIS v AG 1984 IR 36

HERRITY v ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPERS (IRL) LTD 2009 1 IR 316 2008/28/6242 2008 IEHC 249

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ART 8

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ART 8(2)

VON HANNOVER v GERMANY 2005 40 EHRR 1 2004 EMLR 21

SCIACCA v ITALY 2006 43 EHRR 20

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ART 10

CALLAGHAN v INDEPENDENT NEWS & MEDIA LTD UNREP STEPHENS 8.2.2008 2008 NIQB 15

CALLAGHAN & NORTHERN IRELAND OFFICE v INDEPENDENT NEWS & MEDIA LTD UNREP STEPHENS 7.1.2009 2009 NIQB 1

CAMPUS OIL LTD & ORS v MIN FOR INDUSTRY & ORS (NO 2) 1983 IR 88 1984 ILRM 85

KERR & PATERSON A TREATISE ON THE LAW & PRACTICE OF INJUNCTIONS 6ED 1927 2

EDUCATIONAL CO OF IRELAND LTD & ANOR v FITZPATRICK & ORS 1961 IR 323

DUNNE & LUCAS v DUN LAOGHAIRE-RATHDOWN CO COUNCIL 2003 1 IR 567 2003 2 ILRM 147 2003/13/2782

HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 S12 (UK)

CREAM HOLDINGS LTD & ORS v BANERJEE & ANOR 2005 1 AC 253 2004 3 WLR 918 2004 4 AER 617

FOLEY v SUNDAY NEWSPAPERS LTD 2005 1 IR 88 2005/26/5290 2005 IEHC 14

BONNARD v PERRYMAN 1891 2 CH 269

REYNOLDS v MALOCCO & ORS 1999 2 IR 203 1999 1 ILRM 289 1998/36/13843

JUDGE MAHON & ORS (PLANNING TRIBUBAL) v POST PUBLICATIONS LTD T/A SUNDAY BUSINESS POST 2007 3 IR 338 2007 2 ILRM 1 2007/38/7912 2007 IESC 15

COGLEY & ORS v RADIO TELEFIS EIREANN 2005 4 IR 79 2005 2 ILRM 529 2005/11/2271 2005 IEHC 180

TV3 NETWORK SERVICES LTD v FAHEY 1999 2 NZLR 129

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 2003 S2(1)

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 2003 S3

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 2003 S1

INJUNCTIONS

Interlocutory injunction

Right to privacy - Freedom of expression - Public interest - Protection of rights of others - Competing interests of individual and community - Media publicity following release from prison - Publication of articles and photographs - Information identifying address - Right to life - Right to have and maintain a permanent dwelling - Right to earn a living - Balance of convenience - Whether there should be publication of details in relation to sex offenders upon their release - Whether infringement of plaintiff's rights justified in the public interest - Whether interference with freedom of expression sought justified - Whether restriction proportionate to aim - Whether freedom of expression outweighed plaintiff's rights - Whether real risk to life - Whether any benefit in prohibiting further publication - Whether damages adequate - Mahon v Post Publications Ltd [2007] 3 IR 338 followed - Kennedy v Ireland [1987] IR 587; McGee v Attorney General [1974] IR 284; Norris v Attorney General [1984] IR 36; Herrity v Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd [2009] 1 IR 316; Von Hannover v Germany (2005) 40 EHRR 1; Sciacca v Italy (2006) 43 EHRR 20; Campus Oil Ltd v Minister for Industry and Commerce (No 2) [1983] IR 88; Educational Company of Ireland Ltd v Fitzpatrick [1961] IR 323; Dunne v Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council [2008] 1 IR 568; Cream Holdings Ltd v Banerjee [2005] 1AC 253; Foley v Sunday Newspapers Ltd [2005] 1 IR 88; Bonnard v Perryman [1891] 2 Ch 269; Reynolds v Malocco [1999] 2 IR 203; Cogley v RTE [2005] 4 IR 79 and TV3 Network Services Ltd v Fahey [1999] 2 NZLR 129 considered - Callaghan v Independent News and Media Ltd [2008] NIQB 15 distinguished - Sex Offenders Act 2001 (No 18) - Garda Síochána Act 2005 (No 20), s 62 - Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 (No 19), s 2 - Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 (No 26), s 10 - European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 (No 20), ss 1, 2 and 3 - Constitution of Ireland 1937, art 40 - European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, arts 8 and 10 - Application refused (2010/4661P - Irvine J - 18/6/2010) [2010] IEHC 248

Murray v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd

Facts: The plaintiff was a convicted sex offender in the jurisdiction and in England for repeated crimes of sexual violence and had completed his sentence. The plaintiff sought an interlocutory injunction against the defendants seeking damages for mental pain, distress and anguish associated with an alleged interference with his right to privacy. He sought orders inter alia, prohibiting the publication of any photographic image which could identify him. Many media articles had been printed vilifying the defendant. He complained that the articles had made no mention of the rehabilitation that he had undertaken.

Held by Irvine J. that the plaintiff had not demonstrated by the necessary evidence that there was a real risk to his life or that he was likely to succeed at trial in further prohibiting the publication for information concerning him by the defendant newspapers. He had failed to demonstrated a significant inconvenience such as to justify a curtailment of freedom of expression. He had established a fair question to be tried and that the claim was not frivolous or vexatious. However, many photos published had clearly identified him already. He was a person of limited means and so the undertaking as to damages carried little weight. An early trial was possible and the Court would hear parties as to the listing of the case for the earliest possible trial date.

Reporter: E.F.

Ms. Justice Irvine
1

In this application, the plaintiff seeks an interlocutory injunction against the first, second and third named defendants. The plaintiff in these proceedings is Mr. Michael Murray who has a number of convictions for serious sexual offences in this jurisdiction and in England.

2

The first three defendants are the publishers of the Irish Daily Star, the Star Sunday, the Irish Sun, the Irish News of the World and the Evening Herald newspapers.

3

The plaintiff has instituted these proceedings by way of plenary summons dated the 14th May 2010, wherein he seeks, inter alia, damages for mental pain, distress and anguish caused by an alleged interference with his right to privacy, as well as his other rights such as his right to earn a living, his right to life and to have and maintain a permanent dwelling, as protected by the Constitution and the European Convention onHuman Rights. He also seeks injunctive relief, including interlocutory relief, restraining the further publication of photographs of him and details of his whereabouts.

4

By notice of motion dated 14th May, 2010, the plaintiff seeks a number of wide-ranging interlocutory reliefs against the defendant newspapers as a result of the publication by them of a significant number of articles and accompanying photographs relating to him. He seeks orders prohibiting the defendant newspapers from further publishing any of the following:-

5

· Any photographic image of him from which he might be identified.

6

· Information identifying his address or the village, town, town land or city in which he lives.

7

· Information identifying any location at which he stays or which he frequents.

8

· Information identifying his place of work, specifying his travel arrangements or specifying other details that would enable members of public to ascertain his presence at a particular location at a particular time.

9

· Information supplied by the plaintiff to An Garda Síochána in confidence pursuant to the Sex Offenders Act2001.

10

5. The aforementioned reliefs are sought by way of permanent injunction in his substantive proceedings.

11

6. The plaintiff also seeks orders against the fourth named defendant in the main proceedings in circumstances where he maintains that the information he is required to supply to An Garda Síochána pursuant to the Sex Offenders Act 2001, has been unlawfully disclosed by its members to the newspapers. However, the plaintiff seeks no interlocutory relief against the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána apparently on the basis that it has been acknowledged on the present application that any such actions as those complained of by the plaintiff against the Gardaí, if true, and which are denied, would offend the provisions of s. 62 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

12

7. The plaintiff has sworn a lengthy affidavit grounding his application for the interlocutory relief sought. His application is also supported by a number of affidavits sworn by his solicitor Mr. Robert Eager. These affidavits exhibit the newspaper articles relied upon by the plaintiff in support of the relief sought.

13

8. On 17th October, 1996, the plaintiff pleaded guilty in the Central Criminal Court to charges of aggravated sexual assault, false imprisonment and four counts of rape in relation to offences committed in September 1995. He was sentenced to eighteen years imprisonment with the final year suspended. He served his sentence at Mountjoy Prison, Arbour Hill Prison, Wheatfield Prison and Castlerea Prison. The plaintiff was released from Castlerea Prison on 16th July, 2009, having been afforded the usual statutory period of remission for good behaviour. Prior to the commission of the offences in September 1995, the plaintiff had in 1989 previously been convicted of rape in the United Kingdom, an offence in respect of which he received a lengthy sentence. In addition, it appears from the Voluntary...

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4 cases
  • O'Brien v Radió Telefis Éireann
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    ...[2007] 3 I.R. 338; [2007] 2 I.L.R.M. 1. Murphy v. I.R.T.C. [1999] 1 I.R. 12; [1998] 2 I.L.R.M. 360. Murray v. Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd. [2010] IEHC 248, [2011] 2 I.R. 156. National Irish Bank Ltd. v. Radio Telefís Éireann [1998] 2 I.R. 465; [1998] 2 I.L.R.M. 196. Prince of Wales v. Associat......
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    ...Limited, The Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, The Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Ireland and The Attorney General Defendants [2010] IEHC 248, [2010 No. 4661 P] High Court Constitution - Personal rights - Right to privacy - Right to life - Right to freedom of expression - Breach of r......
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    ...justifying the curtailment and undoubted interference with the freedom of expression of the press. Murray v. Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd. [2010] IEHC 248, [2011] 2 I.R. 156 followed. Foley v. Sunday Newspapers Ltd.[2005] IEHC 14, [2005] 1 I.R. 88, Herrity v. Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd......
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    ...v MIN FOR JUSTICE & ORS 2013 1 ILRM 1 2012 IESC 49 MURRAY v NEWSGROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD & ORS 2011 2 IR 156 2011 1 ILRM 90 2010/39/9780 2010 IEHC 248 INJUNCTIONS Interlocutory injunction Application to restrain intended publication of confidential banking information - Freedom of expression ......

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